Friday, August 15, 2014

Skyrim Wrap Up

I'm done. I finished the main quest, defeated Alduin, and saved Tamriel from certain doom. There's more to do, obviously. I could become Skyrim's greatest bard, or assassinate the emperor, or decide the civil war in favor of the Stormcloaks. I could ignore all that and explore caves, slay dragons, and deliver packages. I could build houses and collect books. I can sink so deep into the world, I'll never want to come out.

But I won't. Sixty-one hours are enough. If I had to choose one game for the rest of my life, Skyrim would be a great candidate, but fortunately (?) I am not in that position. I don't have just one game. I have 77, the majority of which I've never played. As much as I enjoyed Skyrim, I have to leave it behind. Otherwise, I'd never get anything done.

It's funny, when I was young, and playing games like Final Fantasy II (nee IV), and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, it would not have occurred to me to even wish for a game like the Elder Scrolls series. I didn't have a lot of games, and the ones I loved I never wanted to end, but if you could have conveyed the sheer scope of these games, I think I'd have dismissed your specifications as pure pie-in-the-sky-whimsy. In my deepest heart, I'd have wanted these games, but I wouldn't have believed they were possible (or maybe I would have, I could be a credulous kid at times).

It never occurred to me to ponder the burden of abundance. I played Skyrim for 61 hours, a respectable total for any game, and yet the thought of leaving now fills me with a vague kind of guilt. There's so much left undone. To turn my back on it feels like a waste. Yet contemplating the enormity of the task of seeing all of Skyrim is enough to make me despair.

How is it possible, in a world where the Elder Scrolls games exist, to be "a video game hobbyist?"  Does not every conceivable accomplishment now come with an asterisk? *But he's only played about 40% of Skyrim. Maybe it would be better to be completely ignorant of the existence of such a thing, so as to enjoy more humble endeavors in innocence?

Nah, that's stupid. I've experienced deprivation and I've experienced prosperity, and I'll take too much over not enough any day. Yet it is important, I think, to remember that I am, indeed, privileged. Even though, thanks to sales and discounts, I've probably spent about 300$ total on all my Steam games, that's still 300$ more than a lot of people have, and the games themselves use technology that wouldn't have been available 20 years ago at any price.

I can't promise that I won't continue to wax melancholy about the ennui of modern life as filtered through the lens of popular video games, however, I will at least try and do so with humility and good humor. I think I owe it to everyone who ever dumped 200+ hours into an unworthy 8-bit game because it was the only one they had.

No comments:

Post a Comment